Tuesday, January 6, 2009

Vitamin D deficiency correlates to risk of pre-eclampsia

This blog will be one of three that will discuss the impact of vitamin D deficiency on health problems specific to women and/or their newborns. First let’s discuss a common disorder of pregnant women called pre-eclampsia.

Pre-eclampsia is characterized by edema (fluid accumulation), high blood pressure and excessive protein in the urine. Pre-eclampsia can progress to eclampsia, which can cause convulsions, coma and death. An investigation found a dose-response relationship between blood vitamin levels and pre-eclampsia—the lower the D levels, the higher the risk of pre-eclampsia.[1] A decline of 20 ng/ml of vitamin D predicted a doubling of the risk of pre-eclampsia. Additionally, newborn children of women at risk for pre-eclampsia were twice as likely as other children to be vitamin D-deficient. This is important, because vitamin D-deficient newborns are likely to develop rickets and suffer from convulsions.[2] The simple expedient of summer sunbathing, winter tanning-bed use or vitamin D3 supplementation could save so much grief for women and their newborns. Spread the word!

[1] Bodnar, L. et al. Maternal vitamin D deficiency increases the risk of preeclampsia. J Clin Endocrinol Metab 2007;92:3517-22.
[2] Camadoo, L. et al. Maternal vitamin D deficiency associated with neonatal hypocalcaemic convulsions. Nutr J 2007;6:23.

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